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No More Mr. Nice Guide

Becoming a certified ski guide is a process that takes many years and many seasons spent touring in the backcountry—just part of the preparation for the grueling training that will burn through your savings and test both mental and physical limits. And then there’s the final exam.

Conditions are perfect on British Columbia’s Albert Icefield. It’s April and the sun is shining. The glacier is well covered, and our group of four is strong and moving fast. If all goes to plan, we should reach Fulgurite Peak soon and notch a few thousand feet of vertical before returning to the snow cave. In theory this is a fun day except for one thing: it’s day five of my nine-day ski exam, and the guy riding my ass is an Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) Examiner.

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